Show Preview: Juanes @ Pomona Fairplex

Columbian superstar hits SoCal!

September 1st, 2017
Zein Khleif
Category: News

I first heard of Juanes during my semester abroad in the south of Spain. Trying to learn more about Spanish and Latin music, I asked my host family to make me a playlist of their favorite artists. First up on the list was my soon-to-be new musical obsession, Juanes. And, on September 3rd, he could become yours too.

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Festival Review: It’s Not Dead Fest

It’s still very much alive.

August 30th, 2017
Lex Voight
Category: Review, Staff Pick

Every time I head out to San Bernadino, I tell myself it’s the last time. The ride is too long, the traffic too brutal, the parking too difficult, and, despite the invariably amazing lineup, no lineup could be good enough to be worth it all. And every time I am proved wrong.

It’s Not Dead Fest 2 is case and point.
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LAMB Session: Ocean Park Standoff

Summer Gods on the rise.

Lex Voight

On the strength of two songs alone, Ocean Park Standoff landed a national tour with alternative legends Third Eye Blind and Silversun Pickups. The Summer Gods Tour, as it has been dubbed, is hitting the Greek Theater on 7/20 so be sure to get your tickets stat.
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Preview: OneRepublic @ The Forum & Honda Center

The pop-rock band hits Los Angeles!

August 29th, 2017
Zein Khleif
Category: News

Led by lead vocalist and songwriter Ryan Tedder on this summer’s Honda Civic Tour, the band that brought us 2016’s hit, “Let’s Hurt Tonight,” will be a hard one to miss.

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Atmosphere at the Wiltern

God (and LA) loves Atmosphere

August 21st, 2017
Lex Voight
Category: News, Photo Gallery

Atmosphere may self-deprecatingly label themselves “dad rap,” but this past friday night at the Wiltern, the legendary underground hip hop duo proved these dads still do it better than any of the young whippersnappers who have come after them.
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LAMB Session: Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee astounds with two cover songs

August 19th, 2017
Lex Voight

Annabel Lee moved to Los Angeles recently from Massachusetts and already shes building up a cult-like following. With her mixture of absolutely sensational pipes, killer songs, killer work ethic, and endearing, no-nonsense personality, Ms. Lee is going to be making huge waves in a short time.
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The Weeknd at the Grammy Museum

The Weeknd seduces the Grammy Museum

August 18th, 2017
Lex Voight
Category: News, Photo Gallery

Somewhere in between being one of the biggest names in music at the moment, selling millions of records, and writing hits, R&B superstar The Weeknd stopped in for a sold-out show at the Grammy Museum.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda Leads Pantages Hamilton Lottery

Thousands flock to Hollywood Blvd.!

August 17th, 2017
Zein Khleif
Category: News

Hamilton opened in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and Lin-Manuel Miranda took the stage outside of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre to lead the #Ham4Ham ticket lottery and put on a mini-concert.
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Show Review: The War On Drugs at Apogee for KCRW

Getting the version that will last forever

August 10th, 2017
Kyle B. Smith
Category: Lead Story, Review

Now that the gold-tinged sonic dust from Ryan Adams’ Prisoner seems to have settled, Adam Granduciel and The War on Drugs are back, primed to take our collective hand and escort us down similar halls of heartfelt and soaring rock 1980’s nostalgia.

From the handful of tracks off of upcoming LP A Deeper Understanding released to date, it is clear that The War on Drugs’ signature cinematic sunset montages, ringing-for-days guitars, and Granduciel’s irrefutable Dylan Infidels sneer haven’t gone anywhere.

All of this was evident Saturday night at Apogee Studios in Santa Monica, where the Philadelphia band convened to record a performance and interview to be aired on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on August 24, the eve of the release of A Deeper Understanding.

If you’ve seen The War On Drugs before without the luxury of being a few feet away from the players, you may have missed the frenetic busyness with which Granduciel builds a series of emotional peaks in his solos, often turning to his whammy bar to ignite the powder keg moments like he did during opener, “Pain.”

Although the songs themselves tend to eventually shoot off in to the stratosphere, the band themselves remain grounded, with little gratuitous rock star flair. The benefit of an understated performance like this is that its efficiency speaks to a sincerity in their creative intent.

Meanwhile, drummer Charlie Hall plays like a man possessed, his pie-eyed gaze more of a thousand yard stare. Hall’s gesticulations and the way in which he leaned in to his drumming during new cut “Holding On” and later on “In Reverse,” led him to being dubbed “a crowd favorite” by host Jason Bentley during the interview portion of the night.

“Strangest Thing,” another new song, benefitted from slow jam sax strains courtesy of Jon Natchez, and an overall lack of urgency despite the gentle tune progressing in to an up tempo jam.

Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like a Martyr” made an appearance, an easy-feel cover that frequented Granduciel’s car stereo as he drove around LA during the recording of the new album.

Based on fervent fan reaction alone, the set’s older selections (“Eyes To The Wind,” or “Lost in The Dream”) were immediately distinguishable from the lesser digested new tracks. The right on the screws solo from Granduciel in “An Ocean In Between The Waves” proved to be another indicator of the incubation time some of these songs now possess. The interplay between his harp and Natchez’s saxophone on “Eyes To The Wind” was indie rock cohesion at its finest.

Robbie Bennet’s Wurlitzer in “You Don’t Have To Go,” the last new song played, helped recall the gorgeous but gut wrenching desperation in “Suffering” from 2014 LP, Lost In The Dream.

To hear a portion of the set, sure to include some new tracks, tune in to KCRW on the morning of August 24. The interview is likely to expose Adam Granduciel’s affable ways and good humor, a fascinating audio tour of the new album artwork, discussion about the clubhouse feel the band pursues in the studio, and which member of the band rode his bike all the way from Hollywood to Apogee, instrument slung across his back.

Just in case it doesn’t make the radio edit, fans of The War On Drugs should know that when discussing his band’s efforts to make the best studio work possible, Adam Granduciel believes that, “you have to work really hard to get the version that will last forever.”

For more information:
The War On Drugs
KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic

The War On Drugs at Apogee Studios Setlist

Pain*
Holding On*
Strangest Thing*
Accidentally Like a Martyr
An Ocean In Between The Waves
(Interview)
In Reverse
Eyes To The Wind
Lost in The Dream
You Don’t Have to Go*
Under The Pressure

*off of new album, A Deeper Understanding

Lead photo by Larry Hirshowitz

Show Preview: Saturn Rising at the Standard

Darkest Dream about to drop at the Standard Hotel

August 9th, 2017
Lex Voight
Category: News

Browsing through Molly House Records‘ artist Saturn Rising‘s social medias, one is given a surprising glimpse into the life of a performer at the nexus of music, performance, dance, and fashion. Aggressive dance videos, to match equally aggressive dance music, are intermingled with staggeringly intimate motion shots, revealing fashion editorials, and personal candids.
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